Called to Serve

As SRO, Sergeant Scott Whorton serves the students, faculty, and staff of Jasper City Schools

Words by Anna Lee Vaughn | Images by Justin Hunter

When you think of the word “sergeant,” what characteristics come to mind? Maybe strict, tough, or dedicated to the job. Words like light-hearted and funny are probably not stereotypical of a sergeant, but they adequately describe men like Sergeant Scott Whorton.

Sgt. Whorton embodies all these things, and he has one goal: to protect the students and personnel of Jasper City Schools. As of March 2023, Sgt. Whorton has dedicated the past ten years of his life to the safety of local schools.

“I always wanted to be a school resource officer because I like working with kids and being able to help them and try to be a role model for them.”

Growing up in Smyrna, Georgia, Sgt. Whorton first came in contact with the area when he would visit his grandparents in Cordova every summer and Christmas break. At 12 years old, his family moved to Cordova, establishing their new home. He graduated from Cordova High School and joined the Navy to “serve my country,” following in the footsteps of his father and uncle.

After completing his last 25 months of service surrounded by the steep, snow-capped mountains of Iceland, Sgt. Whorton moved back to Cordova. In search of a job, he started at Chicago Bridge and Iron, now Warrior River Steel.

But when Ray Ballenger, Cordova Police Chief, made him an offer, he began a lifelong career in law enforcement.

“It was kind of weird,” says Sgt. Whorton, laughing. “He contacted my wife and said, ‘Hey, I need to speak to Scott.’ So, I called him, and he asked me to meet him at the police station that Sunday morning. I didn’t know what he wanted to speak to me about.”

From that very phone call stemmed an entire career. He officially became a police officer in September 1992 at the Parrish Police Department, and has since worked at the Cordova and Jasper police departments. Over the past 30 years, he has achieved the ranks of sergeant and chief.

Now, he is an integral part of Jasper’s School Resource Officer program.

“There’s a lot more to him than just being an SRO, but he’s a good guy and he’s really the backbone of our SRO program,” says J.C. Poe, Jasper Police Chief.

Although Sgt. Whorton spends most of his time at Maddox Intermediate School, he is in service to all Jasper City Schools, answering calls wherever he is needed.

“It kind of just fell in my lap,” says Sgt. Whorton. “But it’s rewarding being a police officer, especially when you can help an elderly person or a child. Someone you know. Someone in need.” WL

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